BOZEMAN – The case of domestic abuse reported in Bozeman on Wednesday night is among countless reported across the country every day, yet serves as a terrifying reminder.
That’s what prompted one Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy to start the community talking, opening the door for the public to weigh in on the issue.
Deputy Colter Metcalf’s idea started with a very simple, yet disturbing stat: no matter where he has patrolled, there have been many cases of domestic abuse seen.
He hopes that his message this weekend will hit home for many.
“Whether you realize it or not, you have been affected by domestic violence,” Metcalf says. “It affects everybody.”
They are crimes that often remain silent but cause limitless damage to those involved.
Deputy Metcalf knows this well.
“You know somebody, whether you realize it or not, that has been a victim of domestic violence,” Metcalf says. “It’s everywhere. It’s in every community. This is the fourth law enforcement agency that I’ve worked for in different communities. It’s in every single community.”
Metcalf says that’s what this conversation will be for, fighting the issue by spreading the word.
“It can happen anywhere and that’s one of the things we are going to talk about,” Metcalf says. “It can happen in any home. It can even happen in the parking lot. Unless you are tuned into what’s happening and paying attention and have your eyes open, you might miss it.”
He says vigilance and knowing who and when to call are key.
It may have made a difference Wednesday night.
“Without working together with the public, that neighbor did the right thing by calling in and letting law enforcement know,” Metcalf says. “We might never get that opportunity unless you, the public, tell us about it.
The deputy will have help from HAVEN and others this weekend.
An effective solution, he hopes, to an often silent problem.
“It’s a multi-faceted problem so it deserves a multi-faceted solution,” Metcalf says.
Importantly, Deputy Metcalf’s presentation will begin at 6 pm at the River Rock Community Center in Belgrade.
It is free of charge.
To hear more from Deputy Metcalf about everything that will be discussed at this weekend’s conversation, tune in Friday to Montana This Morning.
Reporting by Cody Boyer for MTN News